Trump tells Israeli newspaper Palestinians 'aren't willing to make peace'

Palestinians protest U.S. aid cuts at U.N. offices at the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on Feb. 11

Palestinians protest U.S. aid cuts at U.N. offices at the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on Feb. 11

Trump said it would be "foolish" for Israel and the Palestinians to not arrive at a peace agreement under his administration's stewardship.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel expressed his grave concern Wednesday for Israel's future, telling an academic conference that the government's ambivalence toward a Palestinian state showed a lack of direction and suggesting that President Donald Trump's unflinching support wasn't necessarily in Israel's best interest.

"I would like to re-assure our commitment to political action and negotiations as a means of achieving our national goals to freedom and independence in accordance with the two-state solution along the lines of 1967 and internationally legitimate resolutions so that both Palestine and Israel can co-exist in peace and security, provided that East Jerusalem is the Capital of the state of Palestine", Abbas said at a joint press statement with Prime Minister Modi.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' aide Majdi Khalidi on Sunday said that Palestinians will ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to step into a multilateral mechanism to overlook the peace process.

"I think [US-Israel relations] are great".

"Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace, they are not looking to make peace. I think we are very good partners and friends, so we can have frank conversations when we disagree".

Trump also said the Israeli settlements in the West Bank "complicate" matters, stating that Israel "needs to act with caution on the topic of settlements". "It's our only opportunity and it will never happen after this", he asserted.

Asked whether Israeli settlements would form part of the peace plan, he said: "We will be talking about settlements".

In the interview, Trump said that his recognition of Jerusalem as the country's capital was one of the highlights of his presidency thus far.

Relations between Washington and the Palestinians have been severely strained since Trump's December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the American embassy there.

Last month multiple media outlets reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expected Trump's administration to move the US embassy into Jerusalem by the end of 2018.

"I mean you certainly weren't very close with Obama, he gave you the Iran deal, which basically is a deal that says let's ultimately do bad things to Israel", Trump said.

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